KEYS Bunkering West Japan recently named and launched a new LNG bunkering vessel.

Keys Bunkering is a joint venture between Kyushu Electric Power, NYK Line, Itochu Enex and Saibu Gas.

The vessel was built at Shimonoseki Shipyard and Machinery Works’ Enoura Plant, which is owned by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Keys welcomed guests from the parties as well as Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Japan Coast Guard, and the cities of Kitakyushu and Shimonoseki, among others.

The vessel was named Keys Azalea after the azalea, the official flower of Kitakyushu in Fukuoka Prefecture, where Keys is based.

After delivery in March 2024, the vessel will participate in the LNG coastal transportation business, in addition to LNG bunkering for oceangoing vessels calling at ports in the Kyushu-Setouchi area.

This will be Japan’s first LNG bunkering project to supply LNG to vessels over the vast Kyushu and Setouchi area.

Keys Azalea will be Japan’s first LNG bunkering vessel to be equipped with a dual-fuel engine that can operate on both LNG and fuel oil.

The vessel’s LOA is 82.4 metres, its gross tonnage is about 4850 tonnes and it has a capacity of 3500 cubic metres of LNG.